Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Neolithic Opinions

It’s all just opinion. Blogs are full of opinions. Some bloggers are very conscientious and will provide researched information. Of course some blogs are pure information sites. But in my experience most personal non-commercial blogs are pure opinion.
I’m not saying this is a bad thing. What else is there in communication beyond the necessary, but opinion? After we’ve given each other all the information we need to accomplish whatever task is at hand, there is nothing left but the telling of our thoughts on things.
This was probably true in the Neolithic times. Tug and Ug must have had a lot to say about things in their environment. There were tigers to worry about. Plum harvests, mating dances. Because they were also human, they shared opinions.
Are we any different now than we were then? What has really deeply changed in us? Nothing much, I believe. We have larger brains, but we see smaller brains in child protégés out-perform larger brains. So is that enough of a physical difference to give us a radical emotional difference?
When I am in the forest, away from the road; when there are no sounds from planes, I often think about my link to ancient humans. I am walking through a natural landscape, as they did. I am thinking of something my son had done, and also about the house, and whether it will withstand another winter before I redo the roof. A man living in the Neolithic time could easily have had those same thoughts. He could have the same worries, the same joys. How am I so different? I can’t put much importance on the gadgets I have, that he didn’t have.
I think it’s possible that just like me, Tug or Ug could be watching their people gathering up in groups and getting all excited about something. See them pick one of their own and put him in charge. Suddenly Ug and Tug’s tribe is telling everyone what to do. They’re making rules for Tug’s people, and different rules for Ug’s people; and those who were put in charge are not bound by either set of rules.
Even in the days of Cave Bears, and Saber-toothed Tigers; groups of people have looked up to the strong to provide, out of fear of their own weakness. They became detached from the self-sufficiency of their own action, and depended entirely on the sufficiency of those they appointed their leaders.
Tug and Ug were perhaps like a lot of people I know. Not entirely dependent on the society, but not entirely independent of it either; kind of an interdependency I guess. It’ the people in this category that end up in society’s prisons or society’s wars. Too strong to be left alone, too weak to be in charge of their own destiny.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Greed is the father of all sin. That statement is not in quotation marks. I’m sure that with a little research I could find a Bhuddist, or communist activist sharing this sentiment. I believe it to be a true statement. An all encompassing statement of fact: Greed is the father of all sin.

In the wisdom traditions, the mythology of conflict has universally been born of another’s greed. In the mythic scenario of brother against brother, whether it is Cain and Able or Set and Osiris; it is the greed of the impatient brother who brings murder. Murder is born of greed. Can one separate the human force of anger and rage, from the greedy act of indulging that anger and rage? Only through greed can the murderer kill. He must take to himself all of the decision-making authority usually reserved to the wisdom of Nature and our “Supreme Being.”

The division of human beings into the classes of hunters and farmers can also be seen in terms of greed. If we look at the activities themselves it becomes clear that the “Hunters” are expressing greed. That is to say that the instinct for survival will cause greedy behavior. If it didn’t, the hunter would die of starvation before he felt entitled to end the life of a fellow creature, which he had no hand in creating. I believe this is where it question of greed as the prime motivator in life begins. If we apply the term greed to self-preservation then the desire for life itself is tarnished as something bad. But is we see greed as linked, inextricably to the basic desire for survival; then we begin to see how greed can expand and occupy the whole of an individual’s motivations.

This brings us to the Farmer mentality. For the sake of contrast; let’s say the farmer is expressing patience. let’s paint the farmer’s reality as one who is not seeking to grab fast what he can, but using intelligence he is looking into the future and contemplating it. He is keeping track of the heavenly events. He is using is mind. Greed in this case is not in the act of sustaining survival, but may exist in the long term gathering of abundance.

More to come…….